Riding the Wave on Data Warehouse Analytics with Netezza

Sr. Product Marketing Director

Technology is transforming the way we do business, but good business decisions never go out of style.

As they have for years, effective CIOs continue to balance risk against reward before investing IT budget to replace an older technology.

Most markets support one or two dominant vendors, challenged by nimbler innovators skillfully bringing game-changing products to market at faster pace than the 800 pound gorillas. Alexis Xydias of Bloomberg illustrates a dramatic example of this phenomenon in the consumer electronics business with Nokia and Apple (click on the image below for higher resolution).


Like a surfer taking off on a wave, successful CIOs spot cross-over points – that time when a new technology becomes safe enough to adopt while still disruptive enough to give his businesses a technology-based advantage over their competitors.

The product line responsible for disrupting and bringing much needed innovation to data warehousing and analytics is now owned by IBM – Netezza’s acquisition should do much to assuage CIOs assessing the risks of adopting TwinFin.

When seven years ago Netezza brought the first data warehouse appliance to market, our customers welcomed the simplicity and performance we brought to their SQL-based reports – our appliances ran these hundreds of times faster than older database systems, particularly Oracle.

Bringing the power of massively parallel processing to SQL was for Netezza the first step in our journey.

While valuable, reporting on historic data represented BI’s past rather than its future.

In 2007, Netezza delivered the first phase of our plans to give the procedural languages at the heart of advanced analytics peer status to SQL in our appliances’ MPP grids - see

Much of TwinFin’s design is driven by computational needs of analytic algorithms – we will have more to say on this as our customers report back on their experiences of putting in to production applications based on our i-Class technology.

Piper Jaffray’s Investment Note referenced by Phil Francisco in his What’s More “Stunning”: the Lack of Analysis or the Blatant Boosterism? blog post includes a customer quote confirming and validating our critique of Oracle’s database machine: “Exadata is just a RAC cluster on steroids. Something that won't run well in a RAC cluster is not likely to run well on Exadata". The algorithms of advanced analytics do not run well in RAC clusters. We know this; our customers replace Oracle RAC with TwinFin for this very reason. Like our earliest appliances Exadata brings performance to SQL reporting, unlike TwinFin it does little to reduce complexity and nothing to help customers run analytic algorithms against big data.

Remembering Andy Irons: Many of us at Netezza admire surf culture; employed as metaphor surfers supply an exemplar of the agility so aspired to by business leaders and technologists. In reality we recognize the unbridgeable chasm between a wave rider’s daring and grace and operating a business. I’d like to close this blog by tipping my lid to Andy Irons, offering heartfelt condolences to his loved ones and all in surfing’s wider community grieving his passing. Here's a killer video of Andy ripping the lip and taking shade in the green room. Long may you run.


Andy Iron High 5 Part 2 from Blake Kueny on Vimeo.